(WCIA) — Ayo Dosunmu’s heroic shots have not been a surprise. The sophomore guard has closed out several games this season, with a knack for stepping up in late-game situations.
His last-minute bucket against Michigan led the Illini to a 64-62 victory on the road. It was the most memorable bucket of his 27 points, a career high performance for the sophomore guard. Dosunmu did not declare for the 2019 NBA Draft, but is quickly proving he is next-level material.
“You’re fortunate when you get to coach guys that have that knack and that ability, and that desire,” says Illinois head coach Brad Underwood. “Nobody works as hard as Ayo at his game, he has that ability to do whatever it takes. He’s becoming that complete, 2-way player. We’ve had so many of those games in his two years and you’re shocked when he does it.It’s a god-given ability, Ayo has that. He’s got a sense about him, and I wish I could pinpoint it, the great ones have that.”
Dosunmu has led the Illini efforts on a six-game win streak, averaging 19.2 points per game, and shooting 53.7% from the field. After Saturday’s game, Dosunmu spoke about modeling Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant’s play during late-game situations. This was just one day before NBA-great and former Los Angeles Laker was killed in a helicopter crash.
“Late-game they’re doing one or two moves, and then they get into their spot and then they’re elevating,” says Dosunmu.
The Illini are now off to their best nine-game start in the Big Ten since 2005, with a 7-2 record. They host Minnesota at the State Farm Center on Thursday at 6:30 P.M. CT.